Dallas Stars Daily Links: What Steven Stamkos' Deal Means for Jamie Benn's Next Contract

The Lightning may have helped the Stars at least twice over. In other news, the 2016 NHL Free Agency All-You-Can-Eat Buffet opens at 11 a.m. Central time. Buckle up!

The Tampa Bay Lightning may have done the Dallas Stars at least two favors with their recent re-signing of star forward Steven Stamkos. Mike Heika counts the reasons, which start with the upcoming Jamie Benn negotiations and continue to the cap squeeze that could still pop loose goalie Ben Bishop:

By signing Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract extension that averages $8.5 million, Yzerman set a perfect market price for Stars' captain Jamie Benn and also created enough of a salary crunch that he might have to try to move the best goalie that could go on the market - Ben Bishop.

As Heika writes, NHL contract negotiations tend to hinge on the money and term offered to comparable players. Stamkos and Benn – captains, faces of their franchises, both in the upper echelon of the league's elite performers – are about as comparable as they can be:

Benn this year was a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. He is second in NHL scoring over the last three seasons to Sidney Crosby, so he deserves to be talked about in relation to the richest players in the league.


That's why everyone was watching Stamkos. He didn't sign an extension last summer, he waited. Many felt he would use his freedom to extract the most money. Had he signed for $11 million or more, it certainly would have affected the Benn negotiations.

So this does, as well.

There's much more at Mike's place. Clear your cookies first! [SportsDayDFW]


Heika is all over the Stars-related rumors as the NHL readies itself for a potential free-agency frenzy.

Milan Lucic will decide his future team today, says ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

This is after he reportedly took his last meeting before free agency with the Stars in Vancouver, led by owner Tom Gaglardi himself. [theScore]

Heika took to Twitter to address the Lucic-to-the-Stars buzz late yesterday afternoon.

There's more 140-characters-or-less Mike right here. [SportsDayDFW]

What are non-Lightning teams to do now that Stammer has turned his head from their heart-eyes? Kevin Allen rounds up some of the better players still available, from Loui Eriksson to Andrew Ladd to Dan Hamhuis. [USA Today]

Pierre LeBrun says the Oilers are moving in on the Stars with both Lucic and defender Jason Demers. [ESPN]

Darren Dreger of TSN aired out the Stars-related rumors surrounding Chicago Blackhawks D-man Brian Campbell.

Jeff K is getting into the spirit of the season.

Meanwhile, GM Jim Nill is, as usual, playing his cards exceedingly close to his chest. [Stars Inside Edge]

Hurtling over the transom just before midnight: The Florida Panthers have locked up the services of Aaron Ekblad for the next ever.

In other RFA news, the Boston Bruins have extended defender Torey Krug for four years and $21 million. They've also parted ways with Dennis Seidenberg, who will get bought out for 2/3 of his remaining contract. [Puck Daddy]

In additional buyout news:

Find the latest list here. [TSN]

Most fans have made a decision about who won the Subban-Weber trade. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has decided it was him.

Meanwhile, Andrew Berkshire ponders the unthinkable – Montréal without P.K. – in the latest Ice Level podcast. [Eyes On the Prize]

And Alan Hull works off his rage over the Taylor Hall trade with a post on how to write a Taylor Hall trade post. [Copper and Blue]

Finally: The Hockey Hall of Fame is full of amazing mementos of NHL greats. Enjoy this one with pride as we wait only for a Mike Modano statue in Victory Plaza.